The Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns throughout 2020 and also 2021 has changed the lives of people in every aspect – be it the idea of going out and shopping or meeting people or going to the gym or even going to work, etc. Today, people are confined to their homes for most of the days, unless essential, and work from home has become a norm.
In such a scenario, people have started decorating and repurposing their living spaces in order to make them worth their while. And while doing so, consumers have realized that space-saving range of furniture that doubles up as two or three things or can be folded and stored in compact forms are the go-to products currently.
Furthermore, space-saving furniture or foldable furniture makes sense and is in demand mostly in urban cities where apartments are mostly cozy and compact and now working professionals are required to make room for their workstations as well.
Vezza Interiors is one such Delhi-based brand that provides sustainable smart space-saving furniture solutions to customers across major Indian cities.
“Vezza is the culmination of a personal need that I had in 2013 when I shifted in my apartment in Noida. I tried looking for space-saving furniture and it came to my surprise that barring a few players in Mumbai and Bengaluru, there was no brand offering the range. After few months of online and offline search, I decided to dive into this industry and solve this problem for all others who wish to unlock space at home. We introduced a unique set of space-saving furniture products which included Study cum Wall Bed, Sofa cum Wall Bed and a range of folding and wall mounted dining tables,” tells Faheem Khan, Founder, Vezza Interiors.
The brand officially started its journey in December 2015 and opened its display center in June 2016 after spending almost 6 months in material research and product development.
While there is a constant rise in demand for space-saving and multi-functional furniture, how is this segment actually performing and what does the future look like for this category? According to Rsearchnester, the folding furniture market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 7.5 percent to reach US$ 13.2 billion over the forecast period 2017-2024.
What’s on Offer?
The home furniture category has seen very little innovation in decades and is mostly dominated by the unorganized sector and only a few brands that have come to the fore recently are looking at solving the problem of cramped spaces in houses due to the presence of heavy and bulky furniture items.
The foldable space-saving furniture category's portable, lightweight storable pieces are more in demand. Sofas that double up as beds, study units that can be folded away, beds that can be stood up against the wall, dining tables mounted on the wall and can be stood up against the wall as a painting, are among items that customers are asking for.
Faheem Khan asserts, “Vezza offers a wide range of space-saving solutions starting from Rs 4,000 and going up to Rs 2.5 lakh depending on the product, material, and finish. The average ticket size is about Rs 80,000 as most of the customers combine their wall bed with either a study table or a 3-seater sofa.”
Even as the brand has a display center in Noida, and most of its customers come through Vezza’s web presence or reference of existing customers.
Furthermore, with the second wave of Covid and people moving back to their homes and prioritizing ‘stay-at-home’ and ‘work-from-home', the demand for WFH furniture shot up massively, and brands started repurposing their product range to market them as WFH furniture and this further helped the sales go up even during the pandemic.
Faheem Khan agrees as he maintains, “The solutions provided by Vezza were always positioned towards ‘work-from-home’ environment. Our entire range of wall-mounted or folding tables is best suited for those who wish to or have to work from home. The most affordable product in this is called Tavalino, which starts at Rs 3,984. The highest selling product in this category is StudiareStudiare Queen which starts at Rs 70,210. Other products that suit the WFH category are Arte, Alzare, and Festa.”
One thing that’s of utmost importance in this segment is the quality and strength of the furniture. Brands in the segment are now also working on developing an effective supply chain response plan to mitigate the risk and prepare for any interruptions that the Covid-19 outbreak can cause. And this can include aspects like supplier engagement response with cross-tier risk transparency, inventory critical part identification, production-capacity optimization, demand management, logistics-capacity pre-booking, and route optimization.
Vezza is an Indian brand that ensures usage of the highest grade material and hardware in its solutions for long-lasting products.
“All our solutions are first installed and checked at our installation unit, before being dispatched for final installation at customer’s site. Our QC team ensures the safety and finish of the product before its dispatch,” avers Faheem Khan.
The popularity of this segment has also strengthened the demand for its manufacturing in India.
The space-saving furniture category is not new to India. Indian consumers have been accustomed to using folding tables and chairs, stackable chairs, and sofa-beds, for long now, though in an unorganized setup. It is only recently that organized players have entered the category and are offering innovative options in the space-saving furniture segment.
Even as the space-saving furniture segment is slated to witness a steady growth in demand over the next couple of years followed by a steep rise in demand after the country and the world comes out of the negative impacts of Covid-19, there are challenges facing the category like requirement of a large amount of real estate for display of products, high cost of real estate in most Indian metropolitan cities, etc.
Vezza too had to go through its share of challenges and the brand kept innovating in order to stay afloat in the market during the pandemic.
“This year we have added 5 new products including remote-controlled wall beds. We had planned to expand our retail presence by adding new display centers in cities like Gurugram, Mumbai, Pune, Bengaluru, and Hyderabad starting from 2020 but for now, we have kept the plans on hold till all of us come out of this unprecedented situation. We have already identified our display center location and franchisee for Mumbai and are in the process of identifying spaces in 2-3 more cities. Currently, we supply customized finishes but we may introduce fixed trims in the coming years in order to cater to budget customers. We also have plans to target the institutional category like shared accommodations, hostels, hotels, etc. The shared spaces industry and private paying guest houses can increase their profitability by almost 50 percent by switching to space-saving furniture. In crux, we see space-saving furniture becoming a norm in Indian city dwellings within this decade,” concludes Faheem Khan.